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Unveiling the Insights: SOCi’s Consumer Behavior Index 2024


We released our first Consumer Behavior Index (CBI) earlier this month. Our report surveyed over 1,000 U.S. consumers to understand their practices and preferences when interacting with local businesses on and offline. 


While the data took a deep dive into customer sentiment around local search and discovery, the report highlighted the six most essential takeaways that offer actionable steps for enhancing your brand’s marketing strategy.


That’s where this blog comes in! We’ll break down the top findings into bite-size pieces and share how the survey data and insights can influence your marketing strategies moving forward. For this piece, we’ll dive into the data that highlights brand and customer relationships. Let’s get into it!



Green and black call to action promoting SOCi's 2024 Consumer Behavior Index



Why This Research Matters


Before we examine the research, let’s answer this critical question — why does this data matter? 


As a business that serves customers, understanding how consumers interact with businesses online is vital for your brand’s success. 


It can help you:


For instance, data from this report may reveal that the social platforms your brand is focusing on aren’t the same platforms your target audience uses to discover businesses online. Customizing your marketing strategies based on consumer feedback can help differentiate your brand from its competitors.


Top Takeaways from The Research: Brand-Consumer Relationships


The CBI is chock-full of data, so let’s break it down and first examine consumers’ practices and preferences when interacting on and offline with local businesses. 


Search Listing Inaccuracies 


Most consumers search online for products and services in today’s digital-first world. Eighty percent of consumers say they search online for local businesses at least once a week, and 32% say they do every day or multiple times a day. 


Yet, nearly two-in-three (63%) have encountered inaccuracies in business listings on major platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram. These errors substantially affect brand loyalty, prompting half (47%) of all respondents to “break-up” with a business that shares inaccurate online information, opting instead for a competitor.



Circle chart from the CBI representing what consumers would do if they found a business whose listing says it's open but it's actually not


The data speaks for itself. If your brand doesn’t have a solid online presence, you’re missing out on potential customers. 


So, what exactly does a robust online presence look like? Consumers want and need to find information about local businesses online, and they need that information to be complete, accurate, and up-to-date. 


This information includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Updated and accurate local listings 
  • Local pages for each business location 
  • Complete profiles on social media platforms 


While it might seem like a no-brainer, this information can make or break whether or not a consumer chooses to do business with your brand.


Preferred Search Platforms and Devices 


Consumers frequently look for information about online businesses, but which channels are they using to do so? We asked consumers which online apps they’ve used for local research in the past month. 



A bar chart from the CBI highlighting which apps consumers have used to look up information about local businesses


As you can see, the most frequently used apps are Google Search and Google Maps, but Facebook also makes a strong presence, coming in third. What some may find surprising is that the following three positions are occupied by social apps: Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. This data emphasizes the need for your brand to not only have a local presence on search platforms, but social platforms as well.


The study also shows that 84% of consumers find new products, services, and businesses online through social feeds, search results, or recommendations. The most common searches can be found below. A wide array of categories each got significant attention from consumers, likely differing due to frequency of need.



Bar chart from the CBI highlighting which category of brands people have looked up in the past 30 days



In the complicated relationship between consumers and brands, brands need to ensure that every digital touchpoint counts and makes a positive impression. Our data highlights the necessity for businesses to have accurate and optimized online profiles to meet consumer search behaviors. So now that you have all of this data, what’s next?


Improve Your Customer Journey With Smarter Strategies 


As you can see, there are actions your brand can take to enhance the customer journey and ultimately win more sales. Stay tuned for our next blog update which will break down additional takeaways. In the meantime, you can get a more in-depth breakdown of the ones we covered by downloading the CBI


While the takeaways in the report are helpful, finding a way to execute thoughtful search and social strategies can be challenging. Especially for businesses with 100s to 1,000s of locations. 


That’s where SOCi comes in! SOCi is the CoMarketing Cloud for multi-location enterprises. We empower businesses like Ace Hardware, Sport Clips, and Anytime Fitness to scale marketing efforts across all digital channels. From search to social to reputation management and beyond, SOCi has the tools needed to help your brand scale its multi-location marketing strategy. 


SOCi Genius, our AI automation layer, also leverages advanced data science, best-in-class generative AI, “on-brand” training models, and leading automation tools to make data-driven decisions. 


For instance, our Genius Reviews solution uses AI to generate on-brand responses to online reviews and ratings in seconds. Moreover, our recently released Genius Social enables you to interact with social media engagements and generate highly engaging and location-specific content.






It’s time to dominate your marketing strategy at scale, and SOCi is here to help! Request a demo today to learn more.




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Darcy Bickham

As SOCi’s Content Marketing Manager, Darcy Bickham specializes in creating the strategy and developing the content around both localized and digital marketing trends for the SOCi brand. Through her content writing, Darcy has helped to position SOCi as the marketing platform for multi-location brands.

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